Semifinal Saturday Pits Top Stars Against Confident Challengers
By: Nick McCarvel
And then there were four.
Saturday afternoon the final four of the Volvo Car Open take center stage, and it’s a day that offers intriguing backstories and a clash power and consistency for the right to play for the 2019 Charleston crown.
Caroline Wozniacki, winner here in 2011, is the lone remaining former winner in the field, though 2015 runner-up Madison Keys is still alive, as well.
They’ll meet Petra Martic and Monica Puig, respectively, two players who have had career weeks on Daniel Island after suffering from rocky starts to the 2019 season.
Here, we preview the two semifinals to come on what is meant to be a spectacular day of tennis.
 Caroline Wozniacki (DEN) vs.  Petra Martic (CRO)
Volvo Car Stadium, not before 1pm
While the Danish star is the fifth seed here, she’s also a sparkling 5-0 lifetime against Martic, who is playing in the biggest semifinal of her career. Martic is looking for her first big WTA title, as Wozniacki goes for number 31.
But that doesn’t mean our 2011 champ is taking her 28-year-old foe lightly.
“It’s definitely going to be tough,” Wozniacki said. “She’s playing well on this surface and she has that big kick… a good serve, forehand, likes to mix it up. I need to be ready from every point.”
And though Wozniacki has an undefeated record vs. Martic, the two have never met on clay before.
 Madison Keys (USA) vs. Monica Puig (PUR)
Volvo Car Stadium, second after 1pm
There is no such head-to-head edge in the second semi, with Keys and Puig having split their four career meetings two-two. The last time they met, however, was in 2016, Keys winning a third-round clash at the French Open.
Puig is soaring with confidence, however, the 2016 Olympic Gold Medalist telling reporters after her Friday night win over Danielle Collins that she hasn’t felt this good about her tennis since that Rio win for Olympic gold.
“I haven’t really had many good results strung together in a long time,” she said. “It’s been a minute since I’ve had four matches in a row… So I’m really happy with that. I just gotta continue to put my head down and keep fighting and keep believing in myself. It’s not over yet.”
Keys knows much the same, Madi having beaten good friend and rival Sloane Stephens for the first time in four meetings.
But the American feels like she is playing some of her best tennis, too.
And that’s just what we want: Four confident players all eyeing the Volvo Car Open trophy to kick off championship weekend. The next 36 hours are sure to be fun.